Tuesday, 28 June 2016 11:30
Greg Hilburn Interview: Louisiana special session wrap--winners, losers
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Who are some of the big winners and losers from the recent Louisiana legislative special session that ended  Thursday night of last week? 

This was one of the first questions I asked Greg Hilburn as he was driving in from Baton Rouge to New Orleans early  Friday morning.

Hilburn writes for Gannett and covers Louisiana politics and most recently the Louisiana legislative sessions.

Below is an overview of the conversation that I had with Hilburn which focused upon these issues of winners and losers. Unfortunately, since he was passing through a rough audio patch, the clarity is not optimum.  Still, please review the audio-video for the exact questions and Hilburn’s responses.

The big winner was higher education.  They're not flush with cash but it was the first time in “maybe seven or eight years” that they've had level-funding compared to the year before. They are one of the few programs or agencies that won't be cut.  The biggest loser was public education.  It was fully funded through the mandated funding, but will lose about  24 million dollars less than the current year

TOPS
Tops was 30% or  70% funded. The Senate wanted the funds to be dispersed evenly over two- semesters, the House of Representatives wanted to have it front-loaded, with 100% of the fall semester covered and if no additional monies are available, the spring semester will fall to about 40%.  “So we're facing kind of a cliff in the second semester” .  The governor could veto the language that directs the allocation which would cause the funding to go back  t an even distribution of 70-70 funding, per semester.  At the time of the press conference early Friday morning, the Governor said that he wasn't certain about what he would do, but he obviously was not happy about the situation. 

HIGHER EDUCATION

Before the first special session, higher education was to be cut by 30% and then after revenues were raised in the first special session, the cut was reduced to 8%.  But after the special session, they will now receive more general-funding dollars then they did last year.   The TOPS reduced funding definitely impacts higher education, and even if students can afford the tuition, they might choose to put up some money and go elsewhere (outside of Louisiana). 

There's still some uncertainty with higher ed despite getting more funding than last year and they certainly were not made whole.

PRIVATE PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS
The private-public partnerships that operate the safety-net  charity system, the legislature allocated 50 million which is what the governor requested while he negotiated better deals with the partnership's but the partnership say that that's not the case that they really need about 75 million.  That situation is very much uncertain. 

MEDICAL SCHOOLS
The medical schools in New Orleans to Shreveport are separate from the safety-net hospitals,  their allocation was cut in Shreveport from 10 to 4 million and in New Orleans from 3 million to 1 million.  There is an attempt to try to re-capture all the money through Medicaid maneuvers,  The hope is to recover some of that money through the expansion of Medicaid, in some way

PART  TOMORROW: The two-billion dollars surplus? 

Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More

BB Menu

latter-blum2

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1